Planning documents show that a large Community Garden planned for the first stage of the Council’s Meridian Water development is likely to have housing built on it.
THE COMMUNITY GARDEN – A CYNICAL MARKETING TACTIC
The Community Garden is repeatedly referred to in the marketing information for the new flats at Meridian One, which went on advanced-sale last month.
For example, multiple hoardings surrounding the site specifically refer to the Community Garden and others show images of adults and children enjoying gardening alongside phases such as “growing friendships and cultivating community” and “a place to nurture”.
The developer’s sales website says residents can look forward to “honing […] green fingers in the community gardens”. However, none of the marketing information mentions that Enfield Council aims to build housing on the site of the Community Garden. [1, 2]
The Community Garden appears to have been used to help boost the environmental and social-value credentials of Meridian One – and ultimately to generate interest and sell the flats at the best price, but this seems to be a cynical marketing tactic when there is clearly an aim to build housing on the site of the Community Garden.
We shared our concerns with the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA), and they agreed. The ASA has said that they will request the advertising information be amended.
We hope Enfield Council and their partners Vistry respond positively and responsibly to the request from the ASA, and ensure that all the marketing information is made clearer for the general public and potential buyers.
THE COMMUNITY GARDEN – MISLEADING THE LOCAL COMMUNITY
Attendees to the public consultations about Meridian One held in 2020/21 were told that the Community Garden would become an important asset for the Edmonton community and members of the public were encouraged to share their own visions for the garden. However, the public were not informed that the Council aims to build housing on the Community Garden. 
We think it is unfair that the local community are being encouraged to invest time, effort, and money in the garden, only for the council to take this community asset away. The public should have been informed about the Council’s plans for the site during the consultation.
This is particularly troubling because Meridian One is situated in Upper Edmonton which is classified as having a deficiency of open public green space, especially compared to the wealthier areas in the north of the borough. 
This situation was made considerably worse in 2017, when a well-used local community park was lost and built on as part of an earlier stage of the Meridian Water development. 
The Community Garden planned for Meridian One will only be around half the size of the park that the local community has already lost, but it would at least go some way to compensating them. Now it seems that Edmonton residents are going to lose another green space as a result of the Council’s plans for Meridian Water.
We think that Enfield Council should remedy this situation by committing to making the Community Garden a permanent green space for the local community. We would also like the Council to ensure that any future public consultations are far more open and honest about their plans for Meridian Water.
THE COMMUNITY GARDEN – MISLEADING THE PLANNING COMMITTEE
The latest plans for Meridian One were approved at a Council planning committee meeting held on 28th September 2022. The plans were controversial because they included tower blocks up to 30-storeys with a single staircase, despite calls from industry experts to ban such buildings.
At the meeting, committee members were handed a promotional brochure about the development to help persuade them to approve the plans.
A description and image of the Community Garden was included in this brochure under the title “Meridian Water – Delivering for the Edmonton Community”. The Community Garden is described in the brochure as an “inclusive hub” designed to provide “ecological enhancements” “for everyone to enjoy”. The brochure does not say that the Council aims to build housing on the site of the Community Garden. We think it was misleading to portray the garden as a community and environmental asset without mentioning that any benefits it may deliver are likely to be only temporary.
Enfield Council is the master developer for the Meridian Water development and therefore should ensure that information published about the scheme, including any marketing and promotional materials, are complete and 100% accurate.
Better Homes Enfield
The Community Garden – a cynical marketing tactic
- Information downloaded September 2022 from: https://www.vistryventures.co.uk/developments/london/meridian-one
Extract from website: “At Meridian One, you’ll also find a perfect blend of the great outdoors and indoors. Here, creating homes for all walks of life, extends to scurries and buzzes of life too. The site is peppered with gardens and greenery for you to enjoy.
Whether that takes the form of relaxing with a book, letting the kids blow off steam, honing your green fingers in the community gardens or stretching off before running along the canal is up to you. It’s there on your doorstep to be enjoyed any way you want“
- Enfield Council’s plans for the Community Garden site are referred to in the following documents, amongst others: The Design and Access Statement for planning application 21/04618/FUL; The Proof of Evidence of Stephen Armitage 26th March 2021 in regard to The London Borough of Enfield (Meridian Water Strategic Infrastructure Works) Compulsory Purchase Order 2020 – Reference PCU/CPOP/Q5300/3258664.
The Community Garden – misleading the local community
- Making Meridian Water Happen
- Meridian 1b SCI – Presentation Slides
- Residents of Edmonton Angel Community Together says Ladysmith Road open space was leased for just £1 | Enfield Independent